Hawaii asks state for $6 million for athletic department budget

The Hawaii athletic department has asked the state of Hawaii for $6 million over two years to cover anticipated budget shortfalls.

The school made the request on Thursday. From Hawaii News Now:

"We do need additional support for athletics,” UH Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman told the State House Higher Education Committee Thursday.

UH asked lawmakers for two years worth of two mandatory expenses: $3.4 million for the gender equity costs of women's sports and $2.6 million to help cover the travel costs of its opponents, as required in its agreements with the two athletic conferences to which UH belongs.

"I'm trying to think of a way that we can make athletics somehow sustainable. And I think it will require a partnership between us, the legislature, more external support," Bley-Vroman said.

Hawaii's athletic department isn't new to financial issues. The department has a predicted $3.5 million budget shortfall for this year and has operated in the black just three of the last 15 years.

Athletic director Ben Jay resigned last week and in August, said that the football program could be disappearing because of a lack of funds. Jay will resign effective in June at the end of the school year.

Per HNN, the percentage of subsidies that Hawaii receives from taxesand fees to students puts the school in the bottom half among teams in its conferences. The 40 percent Hawaii gets puts it ninth in the 12-team Mountain West Conference and last in the Big West Conference. Hawaii is a football-only member of the MWC and a member of the Big West in all sports.

When Jay mentioned the future of the football team in August, the team was struggling with lagging ticket sales. The season ticket base was over 15,000 and Hawaii hadn't had less than 18,000 season ticket sales since the 1970s. The lack of ticket sales contributed to this year's predicted budget deficit.

Part of that may be attributable to a poor win-loss record. Hawaii's 4-9 record in 2014 was its best season in the past three years. Since going 6-6 in 2011, the Warriors are a combined 8-29.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!